Sunday, January 5, 2020

1987 Trek 520 Frame Rust removal part I

One thing I knew I would have to deal with for the 520 was rust, even before I stripped it down I knew there was rust on the drops, chainstays, in paint chips and in the rack holes in the fork.  One concern I had was with the outside evidence of rust how much might be inside the tubes.

To deal with possible interal rust in addition to the outside stuff I decided on an oxalic acid bath, however I don't have room for a kiddie pool and its not summer anymore.  I have read you need mild temperatures for an effective rust bath so what to do?  I went to Home Deport and bought a resin planter box for $10, as a planter of course it has holes for drainage so not ideal but it was most of what I needed.

I taped the bottom of the planter box with duct tape and then used a cheap mylar emergency blanket, doubled, to line the inside,   It ended up keeping the tub water proof.

Ideally you would do this outside but I did have the tub to contain everything and a bathroom fan for ventilation.  I ended up using about 3 teaspoons of powdered "wood bleach" to every gallon of water.  The results as you will see were good but not great, hence the part I of derustifcation.

BB just after I stripped the frame, pretty rusty.

BB after about 2 hours total in the bath, better but not complete.

Clean drop out pretty much rust free

The other drop still showing some rust.

One shifter boss -still rusty.

The other is fine,

Chain stays underside -before

After -one side completely clean and the other not so much.

still some rust

On the numerous paint chips it mostly did a great job but there are few with a bit of rust still.  I need to think about how to deal with those once the rust removal is done, since I suck at paint match and I don't have the $$ to go to an auto paint place to have them match it for me I will probably do the clear nail polish and then multiple coats of wax option.

Part II of this process will be to wait for a clear day and then take the frame and fork out on the porch for a dose of Naval jelly.  And the BB will probably also get a session with the brass wire brush.  I am still happy I did the rust bath despite the imperfect results, it did most of the work and I have to think it helped with any rust inside the tubes.  One drawback of the trough is that I could do the down tube, top tube and stays but not the seat tube, however I can get a portion of the ST with my brake hone.  The final step will be using frame saver and then I can move onto other parts of the rebuild.

Ride. Kill Rust, Smile Repeat.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

First ride of 2020

No I didn't ride on the 1st and this ride wasn't really very long but I got off the couch before the rains came and rode down to the local park on the Trek Antelope.  So I got on the board both for riding and blogging in the new year.

The Trek is really perplexing me, I am torn between trying to sell it, triple my investment and use the proceeds towards a hybrid - which I have been obsessing about for months.  Or, biting the bullet and swapping out the stem, which would mean new grips, and ordering the Schwable city tires and finding out if this is really a sweet urban ride or just ok.  I have a slightly shorter stem and nice Ergon grips but if I later decide I want to, or need to, move the bike on I would probably just buy some cheap grips and keep the Ergons.  If I do that I am into this bike for about $70 bucks between initial purchase, new tires, and new grips  and so I in break even mode at that point if I sell it, or maybe making a small gain but certainly not doubling my $$.

In the meantime I will endeavor to..

Ride. Smile, Repeat.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Thoughts on the Trek 850 Antelope

I haven't figured out exactly what I am going to do with the 850 yet, i.e is it a keeper or do I want to flip it for a gain?  Regardless there are things that needed fixing, as I noted before the saddle was slammed all the way forward so I have adjusted it to the middle of the rails.

One other issue I have to deal with is the the Front derailleur, the front shifter wasn't working AND the derailleur itself was poorly positioned.  After trying to work around the bottle cage I decided it was in the way and it needed to go to make my life easier for messing with the FD.

Ahh so much easier to get the Y wrench in there to move the derailleur around.  I am not done with the FD but I can get it to move from the small to middle ring so that is progress from where I started.

Since we had some nice weather yesterday I decided I would take the 850 out, I commented that on the initial test ride the bike felt very bouncy.  Before this ride I made sure both tires were inflated to 50 psi, I did discover the rear tire had been low, and this ride was much better, not bouncy, some buzz but that is to be expected with knobby tires on pavement.  Never underestimate the power of proper inflation.  I still think that city tires will improve the ride even more but this is much better.

I am trying to hold off on putting $$ into this bike while I figure out what I am going to do but I do find myself thinking about what I might do if I was going to keep it.  On this ride I felt like the reach was just a touch far but I have a stem with shorter reach,  so I could swap stems and improve the reach if I decide to keep the bike.   For now the goal is to just get the FD to move to all chain rings.


Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Holiday Errand

I needed to pickup the French bread I had pre-ordered for Christmas dinner today.  I had to go to the local French bakery, which bike should I take, hmmm....?

Well the French one of course!  I pulled down the Moto_GT, put some air in the tires, threw on a pannier and took off.

I pre-ordered an Epi loaf last week to pick on Christmas eve at 10 am, however when I arrived they were out and wouldn't have more out of the oven for 15 minutes, however they did have regular baguettes fresh out of the oven, they are the same break just a different shape would I like one of those instead...?  Being in the xmas spirit, not wanting to wait around and not wanting to hold up the line, I said sure I can go with a baguette.

Sometimes it pays to be flexible, as a thank you and an apology for not having my pre-order ready at the appointed pick up time they threw in this nice holiday bread, not exactly sure what it is but I think it will probably be tasty and cost many times what I paid for the baguette! .

Happy and Safe Holidays everyone!!


Sunday, December 22, 2019

Trek 850 Antelope review and Sunday odds and ends

Finally got a day where it was just overcast and not raining buckets, we have been caught in A plume of tropical moisture -- known as "atmospheric river" or more colloquially, a "Pineapple Express".  Anyway today was dry so I addressed the 850.

First thing was addressing the flat front tire.  When I first pulled it and then pumped it up it appeared to be fine but by day 2 it was getting flaccid so I went with the underwater test.  That got me in the general vicinity  and then I applied some dish soap to pinpoint the leak.   Since the leak was directly across from the stem I was able to find the likely cause on the tire.  It appears one of the wires that make up the interior of  of the tire rubber had poked through, I put some masking tape over it although in retrospect some duct tape might have been better.  I am not too worried about it as the tires will most likely get replaced and I was just trying to get the bike ride-able.

One thing I noticed when the bike was in the stand was the shifting, the rear shifter was ok, pretty good going from big to small cog but iffy going back up the cog.  A couple of doses of Brakleen fixed that and it shifts fine now.  I will let it dry some and then spray some tri flow in for lubricant.  The front shifter is another matter, its in the small ring and doesn't want to shift up to the middle or big ring.  Initial Brakleen treatment hasn't changed that so I will keep at it.



Not a big deal but I noticed the brake/shifters were not aligned and that kind of bugged me, so I adjusted the front brake/shifter to be in the same plane as  the rear.

For $20 I was not expecting perfection but its good to go into these "deals" with open eyes.  No complaints, but here is what I have noticed about the 850:

  • Flat front tire
  • Front shifter not working
  • Rear shifter needed help to operate both ways
  • Mismatched tires, front stock rear replacement
  • Mismatched rims, rear stock, front replacement Araya.
Rear wheel (Stock)

Front wheel - replacement
The front flat and rear shifter I have addressed, the front shifter I have not given up on, the mismatched rims aren't big deal they pass the 10 foot test and the tires I think I will probably replace.  I have sold a few parts lately and may funnel the proceeds to some of these..

I think the Schwable Jet City's will give the 850  a smooth  ride.

I did get in a ride to the market and the ride was on the bouncy side which I attribute to the mismatched knobby tires and a under inflated rear, but the fit is in the ball park.  I don't dislike the grips   I also noticed the seat post QR needed tightening when the saddle slipped down, and that I forgot to adjust the Saddle before setting out.

I had noticed earlier that the saddle was waaay forward but forgot to adjust it before the ride, after my trip I think the nose needs to come up just a bit too.  Looking forward to some more tinkering and then seeing how it works after I fix the tires, shifter and saddle.

While I was dropping off some donations I found out there will be a warehouse sale at bike works next month, I will probably have to check it out.

This year for the Coffeeneuring swag I got not a patch but a cool metal badge.

Suicide Squeeze IPA, Fort George Astoria OR 

H.Bomb Winter ale (Coconut) Fremont, Seattle WA

No Scrubs IPA, Cloudburst Seattle WA

I was at the Market so I did have to stop at the Beer Junction for some tastes.

Ride.  Have a Great Holiday. Smile. Repeat.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

1992 Trek 850 Antelope

As found

I spent allot of time over the summer reducing the herd and wasn't really looking to add any but when I came across this Trek MTB for $20 I couldn't pass it up.

Its a 1992 model in Sour Grape (Purple), its too wet for me to do anything outside with it but other than a flat tire it appears to be in good shape and it's mostly stock according to the Vintage Trek site.

The drive train is Shimano Exage 400 LX -7 speed indexed shifting.

The paint and decals seem to be in nice shape for a 27 year old bike.

I also like the fact that the bike has plenty of braze-ons for fenders and racks so it could be built up as as a solid commuter bike.

As with the Miyata purchase, and the Novara,  one of the major appeals was the price, at $20 -I would have to really try to not at least break even and I think, barring any undiscovered issues, that with some TLC and a repaired front tube I should be able to double my money if I sell this bike.  This could also be a great clunker challenge candidate with lots of room for updates within the $100 budget.

I was also interested in riding a 20 inch frame to see how it feels against the 22 inch bikes I have tried in the past.  Hopefully this weekend I can give it a wipe down, fix the tire, give a once over in the stand, maybe adjust the HUGE gap in the front derailleur, and then see how the Antelope runs.

Ride. Smile. Look for Deals.  Repeat.